Dealing with family
Right now, JWs are in the "dating" phase with you and will be putting their best foot forward with metaphorical flowers and candy. They will give you lots of attention and seem like the most loving people on earth. Some of them will be sincere in doing so, but this practice has been nicknamed "loveboming". It's very hard to think through that. Once you are committed, things would change.
The study process is a low and slow process of indoctrination. There are insider doctrines that you will not be told until you are "ready". You are taught outsider doctrines first, spun and made palatable for outsiders. Slowly you will be introduced to less palatable, less believable teachings.
Example of an insider doctrine:
* In 1919, Jesus appointing the JW/Watchtower Governing Body as the Faithful and Discreet Slave as God's sole channel with mankind. A relationship with God is impossible without recognizing them as the Faithful and Discreet Slave.
* All non-JWs will be eternally destroyed at Armageddon.
* You should die rather than have a blood transfusion, but blood fractions are okay.
* All non-JWs are "bad assocation", so you should only have JW friends.
* Even if you are a JW, if you become inactive (don't go door to door each month), you are bloodguilty and be destroyed at Armageddon.* Higher education is bad.
* You should really consider pioneering...perhaps doing with less, taking a part time job, and do evangelizing activity for 70 hours each month.
* Anyone who decides not to be a JW anymore, or whom the elders expel, are to be completely shunned, not so much as a hello given to them.
* If you see or hear of anyone validating Watchtower rules (maybe celebrating holiday, attending another church, reading books like Crisis of Conscience, reading websites such as this), the matter must be reported to the elders immediately.
* Elders can form secretive investigative committees in regard members and investigate a person's behavior without their knowledge, questioning family and friends close to that person.
* Elders can form judicial committees, where they pull the member in a backroom because of violating Watchtower rules, or if it comes to light that they believe differently on a matter (such as whether Jesus invisible Presence began in 1914). Judicial committees are secret trails where no observers or recordings are allowed, no legal defense allowed and results (including being disfellowshipped and shunned) cannot be questioned.
I'm sorry your kids aren't speaking to you... that is what many of us former JWs have to contend with ourselves. Even being just inactive, my family has very little to do with me. If I were DFed or if I resigned, they would have NOTHING to do with me.
I encourage you to read Combating Cult Mind Control and make it a priority to reestablish a relationship with your family above all else.
Run away while you still can!
This may have been said already, but I would suggest strongly suggest that you refrain from your study and meeting attendance immediately! Put the whole thing on hold until you learn everything you can about these people. If you try to do both at once, the indoctrination sessions could very well win out.
And listen to what people here are telling you. We truly have your best interests at heart.
Also, hear your children out. Really consider what they're telling you. I was in my 50's, my kids in their 20's and I didn't listen to their concerns because, well, I already had been studying for a while I think and was partially indoctrinated, and of course I knew better just because I was their Mom. My daughter: Mom, I thought you were smarter than that! My son: Mom be very careful! If you change your mind they'll hound you forever, they'll never let you go! Your kids will probably be happy to talk to you again as long as you don't preach to them and tell them you're willing to listen to what they have to say and that you're giving their words at least as much weight as the JW's.
Plenty of good advice........... here is some more.
Check out the 2015 Pew religious survey to see how the JW's compare to other religions......educationally, earnings, Divorce rate, etc.
Also read up on the ARC:
This organization is already causing division in your family. Why are you still entertaining the idea of staying with them?
G Skero.........please take the time to do research of all the harm this dangerous religion has perpetrated on tens of thousands of ones who have left the religion after learning the "truth".
The sugar coated presentation to you will end as soon as you get baptized. Everything you are told is just a ruse to make you pliable.
Also they say that they are the ONLY true church and EVERYBODY else is wrong
FLATTERY gets them every one - Being lovebombed AND flattered is nearly irresistible. But it all goes away once they've gotten you hooked into making a commitment.
I remember saying to myself - They MUST be the true religion that God wants me to join - because they think I am so smart!
The couple who studied with us seemed like the best and nicest friends we ever had. Once we got to the end of the second book they dumped us like a bag of rotten chicken dooky. I learned that the wife could barely stand me and was overjoyed when the study finally ended. After we got baptized we NEVER got another invitation to their home. The theater lost a great actress in that cool pretender.
Be wise - stay away from the Jehovah's Witnesses. They are a cult, they use mind control, and they will ruin your life and hurt everyone who loves you. Be assured I am speaking from nearly 30 years of experience.
Run as fast as you can, or you may want to delay the running just a bit by doing some research on the Watchtower..
I have never been a JW, but I have been married to one for 22 years. For about 18 of those years I thought it was a great religion, but my whole perspective took a 180 after few days of research four years ago. The outer appearance of the religion looks good. That's what impressed me at first, even fooled me for 18 years. Anyone can be fooled when so many wonderful friendly people treat you as if you are special. The problem is not those obedient people who have been programmed to be nice to you in order to emotionally attract you and blind you about the bad part of the Watchtower. Do you research. You may conclude as I have done that it is a cult and a business that exploits, kills, abuses, robs people of their money, time and dreams. Start at JWfacts.com